UMass wrap up

One phrase has been going through my head all night, and it's what I've used with the people I've talked to already about tonight's game.
I have no explanation for what just happened.
I gave Central a better chance tonight than most. CCSU is great at home, has been playing beautifully on defense and UMass isn't the Camby-led UMass squad anymore.
Still, these are the Minutemen that nearly knocked off nationally-ranked Central Florida just days ago. These are the Minutemen who nearly beat BC and who just beat BU by 17.
There is no way that should have happened.
And I don't mean that in any way negatively towards the Blue Devils, who, as I said, have been great of late. But still. 92-63?
I think part of it was that, especially after the intentional foul, UMass quit. It at first reminded me of CCSU's game at Providence, but then I remembered that Central led that game in the second half and trailed by 10 or so when they looked like they packed it in. UMass was down 25 early in the second half when it was still trying.
The Blue Devils shot incredibly well, though I think they relied a bit too heavily on the outside shot. UMass went zone and befuddled Central for a time, but not for long,
Defensively, the Devils were brilliant, as they have been throughout the homestand. Great stuff.
With that said, and since I have to be at the ITBD building at 7:30 for a breakfast including Howie Dickenman and Beryl Piper, let's get right to it. UMass went zone, but at Blog Central, we always play man-to-man.

Joe Efese: Only played nine minutes (I'll find out more about that tommorow), but we effective while in there. The two blocks were especially noteworthy.

Devan Bailey: Spectacular defensively (three steals) a distributor offensively (seven assists, 1 turnover). Becoming much more than a minutes eater. If he could ever score.... well he has two years left.

Ken Horton: 24 points, seven rebounds, and might have been the second best player on his team tonight. If he can make threes without getting trigger happy, NEC teams will have no answer for him.

Vince Rosario: Made up for his three turnovers with two steals. Made a big shot in the first half. Not a great game, but better than he's been. I think the hip is coming around.

Robby Ptacek: Phenomenal night. 26 points. 8-of-14. Got to the line 8 times and stuck them all. Aggressive without being a ball hog. Seven rebounds. Couldn't ask for much more.

Shemik Thompson: It's rare that a 24-point, four-assist night gets overlooked, but this one nearly was. 8-of-11 usually works.

Mark Laporte: The joint erupted when he tallied his first point of the year.

De'Angelo Speech: avoided a scare when x-rays showed he did not have a broken wrist, which is what was being taped pre-game. Still has the turnover bug, but had great energy again. Too many fouls, however.

Chris Baskerville: Has earned more run of late and is making the most of it. He a really nice steal and score during the 17-0 run to ice the game. Becoming a factor again.

Terrell Allen: One of Central's eight steals. He's going to be a player someday.

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